Durham and Nottingham raids target illegal markets

FACT investigators, working with law enforcement, have successfully targeted pirate DVD sellers operating at illegal markets in Durham and Nottingham.

  • A total of 16 suspects were arrested:
    9 at Tanfield Lea, Durham and 7 at Hucknall, Nottingham.
    Over 18,000 pirate DVDs seized

The raid in Durham was a joint intelligence led operation with Durham Constabulary targeting known sellers of counterfeit DVDs who set up stalls on the outskirts of the weekly Tanfield Lea car boot sale. Eight men and a woman were arrested and interviewed at local police stations and have been bailed to return in eight weeks. In addition, seven vehicles were removed from the site by police officers and were searched. The vehicles were later returned to their owners.

The raid in Nottingham was a joint intelligence led operation with Nottinghamshire Trading Standards and Nottinghamshire Police aimed at prolific sellers of pirate DVDs on an illegal market operating on the fringes of the Hucknall Sunday market. Follow-up searches at four houses led to the seizure of a large quantity of pirate music CDs and computer equipment as well as thousands of blank DVDs and printed inlay cards. Seven men were arrested and have been bailed to appear in March.

Kieron Sharp, FACT Director General, said: “Working with Police and Trading Standards across the UK we aim to disrupt and dismantle pirate DVD trading, whether that be in car boot sales, in markets or online. The manufacture and selling of counterfeit film product is illegal and contributes to crime in the local community. Film piracy also feeds hundreds of millions of pounds a year into organised crime networks and has associations with other serious criminal activity.”

Nichola Schofield, Team Leader for Special Projects at Nottinghamshire Trading Standards, added: “By sharing intelligence and adopting a multi-agency approach we are able to better target and apprehend those involved in such criminal activity across the county.”

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